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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 January 2022

Barts NHS workers strike back

For a 15% pay rise for all

Bring back outsourced services

Barts NHS Trust workers striking for decent pay, photo Paul Mattsson

Barts NHS Trust workers striking for decent pay, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

'Why we're striking'

Unite Shop Steward Barts Health Trust

Nearly 600 health workers employed at Bart's health trust across three hospitals - Royal London, Whipps Cross and St Barts - are striking for fair pay, and against increasing workloads and bullying.

Following a massive 97% vote for action the workers, member of Unite the Union, are walking out for two weeks from 31 January to 13 February.

They provide essential services as cleaners, porters, patient food catering workers, reception staff, and security guards.

Picket lines will take place every day at each hospital with rallies taking place at midday at the Royal London on 31 January, Barts hospital on 2 February and at Whipps Cross on 4 February.

Employed by private company Serco, the workers' pay claim for 15% reflects the pay gap between these outsourced workers and those directly employed by the NHS doing the same jobs. The threat of strike action alone has forced the bosses to raise their derisory 1% pay offer to 3%, but this has also been rejected, especially given that RPI inflation has just jumped to 7.5%.

A porter told the Socialist: "We haven't got smaller shopping bills or rents than workers employed directly by the NHS doing the same jobs. It simply is unfair and that's why we have to take action."

Serco has made huge profits from the failed test-and-trace debacle and had a turnover of £3.9 billion according to the latest figures available.

The company has given the NHS Trust 18 months' notice that it will be ending the contract in April 2023.

We also demand that the trust board bring these workers and services back in-house as soon as possible.

Barts bosses, having privatised these services, bear responsibility for the situation that has developed. They must now intervene to ensure the union's pay claim is met in full.

Also, that the years of outsourcing are ended and that the workers are given full NHS pay, terms and conditions.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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In The Socialist 25 January 2022:


What we think

We need a workers' alternative to big business Tories and Labour


News

Lords reject parts of anti-protest bill

News in brief

Social care providers put profit before residents' needs - nationalise care now


Cost of living

Cost of living crisis


Trade unions and the cuts

Trade unions and the fight against council cuts


Workplace news

Barts NHS workers strike back

Sheffield Just Eat strikers step up action and hold mass rally

Oaks Park School: valiant strike exposed state of schools

Education: Workload and inflation goes up, incomes fall

DWP reps demand action from PCS leadership

10,000 tube workers vote to strike - don't make workers pay for TfL funding crisis

Strike action by Carmarthenshire winter gritters wins concessions from council

Universities: Strike action at 68 in two disputes

Worksop Wincanton logistics workers begin ninth week of strike action


International news

Trade unionists in the USA fighting back


Campaigns news

Hundreds protest to save St Mary's Leisure Centre in Southampton

Wakefield TUSC - Fighting for low-paid workers and NHS

Eviction resistance on the march in Waltham Forest

This is students' chance to fight back - help build 2 March NUS walkout

Selling the Socialist


Environment

Britain's waterways choked with a 'chemical cocktail'


Readers' opinion

War in Yemen, made in Harlow, profit for rich

Somers 'slaughterhouse' Forge

UK Covid-19 mortality similar to Spanish Flu

It's my party, and I'll lie if I want to


 

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Related links:

London:

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Crisis in the Ukraine

triangleLondon Socialist Party women's meeting

triangleNewham City Farm - closed with no consultation

triangleTube workers strike in defence of pay, pensions and conditions

triangleEast London Socialist Party: The East London Matchgirls' strike

NHS:

triangleTV review: This is Going to Hurt

trianglePrivatisation and crisis in the NHS

triangleBarts NHS workers to walk out again on 28 February

triangleBarts NHS strike

Strike:

triangleWorkers and students unite and fight

triangleRail workers strike in Sheffield

triangleJust Eat couriers continue action to fight pay cut

Barts:

triangleUnite and fight for a decent pay rise

triangleForce back Serco and Barts management!

Pay:

triangleUniversity workers continue strike against bosses' attacks

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